We are really looking forward moving all of our equipment into our new clinic at Fix Physio. It has been a long time coming!
Moving in means we get to be the Posture Police and Proper Lifting Fanatics for all of our wonderful friends and family who are helping us.
While helping people move in the past, I have gotten plenty of ‘you’ll have to treat my back after this’ or ‘my shoulder is definitely going to flare up after this one’. Though I love treating friends and family, I would much rather we be PREVENTATIVE rather than REACTIVE. Everyone has that voice in the back of their head saying ‘lift with your legs’…but no one does it. You are in a rush and you just want to get the task over with. WELL GUESS WHAT. From my experience, just ‘getting it over with’ can cause you weeks or even months of pain.
See:[ http://www.northernhillsphysio.com/Injuries-Conditions ] for some of the most common lifting injuries.
Not to instill fear, but this is serious business. Think I might have to preach this one over a coffee before the move begins…
Rules for smart manual handling.
1. Think first and prepare.
Plan ahead for any manual handling. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do I really need to move this object? Is there an alternative such as a mechanical aid (trolleys, forklifts, conveyors)?What does the object weigh? Is the weight evenly distributed? Can I split up the load?Am I capable of moving the object without causing an injury given my general fitness, fatigue levels and past experience?How will I grip the object? Do I need gloves?Should I ask for help?What do I need to do to my environment before I complete the task? Is the path clear? Is there a place ready to move the object to?
This rule is most often forgotten, yet it is the most important. Thinking only takes a minute.
2. Keep your spine neutral.
Your spine is more susceptible to injury when it is flexed. The neutral curve of your spine should be maintained during any manual handling. For most people, their spine is in "neutral" when there is a slight arch in the lower spine, and a slightly rounded upper back. When you flex your spine greater pressure is placed on the discs between each vertebrae and the discs can become injured. When then spine is held in the neutral position, the strong stabilizing muscles of the back and abdomen are able to support the spine and reduce pressure on the discs during manual handling.
In order to keep your spine neutral when lifting, you may need to bend your knees to reach the object to be moved. Your large knee joints and big leg muscles are much better suited to manual handling than the smaller joints and muscles around your spine.
3. Hold the load close to your body.
Holding the load close to your body reduces the demand on your muscles to support and move the load. Even holding a relatively light object can seem difficult if you are holding it with outstretched arms.
4. Don't twist.
When you twist your spine the small muscles and ligaments close to the spine become stretched. This reduces their ability to support the spine and increases the risk of injury if a load is applied while your muscles and ligaments are stretched. Move your feet to point in the direction you are going, rather than twist your spine.
We are hoping you have taken the time to read this blog BEFORE you tackle your big move. However, if we are too late, know that Fix Physio is here for you to get you back to your pre-move condition.